The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Law school applicants face stiffer competition

Often overlooked by SMU’s undergraduate students, thenorthwestern quad known as the law school is a nationally rankedgraduate law school, recognized worldwide, in which applicants nowface the toughest admissions process yet.

“This year we estimate less than 20 percent of all ourapplicants will be admitted,” said Virginia Keehan AssistantDean for Admissions and a recent SMU law school graduate.

In Fall 2003 the law school accepted 24 percent of its 2720applicants. Of the 668 students accepted, the average LSAT and GPAwere 161 (83rd percentile) and 3.60 respectively.

For this year, Keehan said over 3,200 applications will bereviewed in the coming weeks. Effectively, the law office ofadmissions anticipates LSAT and GPA standards to increase from lastyear’s.

Jessica Escobar, a full-time, third year law student andUniversity of Texas-El Paso political science graduate, said SMUlaw school was her number one choice.

Escobar’s decision was based on many factors, her husbandgraduated from SMU law and she liked SMU’s location inDallas, but what she found most important was SMU law’sstrong alumni base.

“I looked at coming to SMU as an investment,” saidEscobar.

A few of SMU law school’s distinguished alumni includeGerald J. Ford, Louise Raggio and James Thompson.

According to the career placement section of the American BarAssociation, 95 percent of SMU law graduates are employed fresh outof school. However, the rigorous course work leading up to the dayof employment is stressful, according to Escobar.

As graduation approaches students begin taking a series of barpreparation classes, which are required curriculum courses.Students often spend consecutive nights in the law library andrelieve stress during the day by participating in intramuralsports.

Traditionally, students take the BAR exam the July followingtheir graduation. According to the State of Texas BAR statistics,the school’s pass rate for first-time takers in July of 2003was 92 percent.

“We work hard, but we play hard too. You have to have abalance in law school,” said Escobar.

The diversity at SMU law ranges from ethnicity to age to priorexperience. According to the admissions office, the average age ofstudents in the law school is early 30s.

The student body includes company CEO’s, doctors, singlemothers, Yale graduates, even retired lawyers seeking anintellectual challenge.

Overall, SMU’s law school ranks 47th out of thenation’s top 50 law schools, according to U.S. News and WorldReport.

For more information about SMU’s law school visit

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